BERLIN Nearly three in four Germans want Wolfgang Schaeuble to stay on as finance minister in Angela Merkel's future government, according to a poll published on Wednesday.
Merkel is seeking a coalition partner after her conservatives romped to victory in Sunday's election with 42 percent of the vote, but fell just short of a parliamentary majority.
The chancellor and Schaeuble earned much voter admiration for their firm handling of the euro zone crisis and 72 percent of Germans want the 71-year-old to stay in the post he has held since 2009, according to the poll by Forsa institute.
Merkel has already had contact with the leader of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) about the possibility of a 'grand coalition'.
However, she may need to offer the SPD, which has major reservations about joining her in a repeat of their 2005-2009 coalition under Merkel, key cabinet posts including finance minister, in order to convince them.
The SPD has advocated a greater focus on reviving economic growth in the euro zone but Schaeuble signalled on Tuesday that Germany would not change tack in its euro zone policies.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Madeline Chambers)